Finn Hill Neighborhood Plan – Open House on October 10 at Finn Hill Middle School from 6pm to 7:30

Finn Hill Neighborhood Plan – Open House on October 10 at Finn Hill Middle School from 6pm to 7:30

Here is a quick overview of what will be happening at the Finn Hill neighborhood plan open house on Tuesday, October 10 in the Finn Hill Middle School cafeteria at 8040 132nd Street. (Note: spaces may fill up quickly in the regular parking lot, but you can also use the driveway and turn around for school buses that is accessible from 132nd to the east of the regular parking lot.)

Format: The open house will run from 6:00 – 7:30pm. It will consist primarily of 5 informational stations in the cafeteria featuring maps and displays that relate to key elements of the Finn Hill neighborhood plan. City staff and Finn Hill Neighborhood Alliance volunteers will be on hand to offer background information on the displays and answer questions. You can move from one station to the next at your own pace and in whatever order you prefer.

We will have coffee, bottled water, cookies and pizza on hand.

Meeting materials: When you check in, you will receive an outline of the neighborhood plan, summaries of proposed rezones on Finn Hill, and a calendar of dates at which the neighborhood plan will be considered by the Planning Commission and the City Council. You will also receive cards on which you can write questions that City staff will answer during two short Q&A sessions during the open house (approximately 6:40pm and 7:20pm.)

Informational stations: The City is preparing materials for the 5 informational stations now. The stations will cover the topics listed below and will summarize relevant policies from the draft plan. FHNA has not yet seen the displays but, based on initial comments from the City, we are providing comments below about what we think are some of the key issues related to these topics.

Vision & Values:

  • This station will highlight the fundamental neighborhood vision for Finn Hill and the planning values that should guide Finn Hill’s future
  • Key issue:
    • Do the plan’s vision statement and values – which stress preservation of the neighborhood’s tree canopy and a desire for additional commercial amenities on the hill appropriately describe Finn Hill’s priorities for the next few decades?

Land Use:

  • This station will address residential and commercial zoning for Finn Hill.
  • Key issues:
    • Proposal to downzone areas west of Juanita Drive from RSA-8 and RSA-6 (eight and six dwelling units per acre) to RSA-4 (four dwelling units per acre)
      • The intent behind the proposal is to preserve the tree canopy in the Holmes Point Overlay ordinance area by lowering housing density and setting minimum lot sizes that will accommodate tree retention/tree planting
    • Proposal to up zone the area around Sandberg elementary to RSA-6 from RSA-4
    • Proposal to modify zoning for the Inglewood shopping area (QFC) to accommodate higher building heights and more multi-family housing
      • The intent behind this proposal is to enable the Inglewood shopping center to be developed in the future with more commercial amenities (e.g. restaurants, coffee shops, and additional stores) and a mix of housing, including affordable housing. Ideally, a more intensively developed commercial area will support additional transit options.

Transportation & Transit:

  • This station will address matters such as pedestrian and street connections.
  • Key issues:
    • Potential street connections that have been the subject of significant public comment over the past two months
    • Predictions for traffic volumes on Finn Hill’s access arterials as development continues
    • Sidewalk and street standards for Finn Hill
    • Master plan for Holmes Point Drive (including standards for sidewalks and paths)

Parks & Open Space:

  • This station will provide information on existing parks and plans for expansion of parks and open space areas
  • Key issues:
    • The long-term vision for a Green Loop encircling the top of Finn Hill. The Green Loop is a concept for a continuous corridor of park/open space that will connect existing parkland in a trail that circles the hill. It should help the neighborhood and City planners prioritize where to preserve open space and acquire land or easements for future parks and open space corridors.
    • Expansion of the Juanita Heights Park on Goat Hill (as the initial phase of the Green Loop) and the creation of a trail from the bottom of Goat Hill to Juanita Heights Park (informally named the Billy Goat Trail.)

Natural Environment:

  • This station will present topographical and tree canopy coverage about Finn Hill
  • Key issues:
    • Proposal to amend the Holmes Point Overlay ordinance, whose purpose is to preserve trees in the area to the west of Juanita Drive
    • Possible citywide regulations that would require integrated development plans for subdivisions (i.e. require complete tree retention and replanting plans to be presented before site development starts) and that would limit construction on steep slopes

Additional resources: If you want do some prep work for the open house, you can read the draft plan document and see supporting materials on the City’s Finn Hill neighborhood plan web page.

You can also see what the Planning Commission and the City Council have said about the plan during their initial reviews of the draft by looking at videos of recent meetings. The most recent Planning Commission meeting to consider the plan was held on September 28. Click here for video of the meeting and here for the staff memo that was discussed at the meeting. The City Council held a study session on the plan on October 3. Click here for video of the Council meeting and here for the staff’s briefing memo.

This open house should be a good way to learn how the plan is shaping up and to focus on issues and questions that you would like the City to address as the plan enters the final approval phase. Finn Hill is your neighborhood and the neighborhood plan should reflect your priorities, so please take advantage of this opportunity to voice your ideas and concerns. We hope to see you on Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *